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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 14, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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>> yeah, that's exactly right. it appears what we will be seeing is the first couple pages of his tax return. but, you know, their is stiis i interesting year, the year after the apresent dprentice debuted. this is something that the wall street journal reported in march of 2016 and we already know that he took a big easement because of one of his properties in new jersey. what we're hoping to get is more detail on the big picture. >> white house trying to preempt the release of this by giving out information they hadn't previously given out. joining us is the panel. potentially a big deal? >> yeah, we have to see exactly what msnbc has and exactly what it shows, but as philip just outlined, there are a lot of questions about donald trump's finances, and the fact that he
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did not abide by the traditional norm of presidential candidates going back decades to release his tax returns has created incredible media and public interest. >> although the white house says the public doesn't care. >> every time this has been polled, more than a majority of the public says they do care and they would like to see the tax returns, right? so i think they're wrong about that. and we'll know for example what is his charitable giving been in 2005. are there any foreign sources of income? and then as the white house goes into this tax reform debate later in the year, it's interesting to know how someone of trump's wealth, what deductions did he take? how did he use the tax code? >> you've probably polled on this during the election, do you have a sense of whether it moved with people? >> two-thirds of the people today say he should release his tax returns. will this be enough? if philip's right and it's just what he made and what he paid,
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it's interesting, but what i want to now -- russia. his son, in 2008, said, quote, we see a lot of money pouring in from russia. if we have the whole return, which i'm sure for a man as wealthy as trump with all his complex business enterprises it's that thick. i want to know, there's a form called 8938, which is a statement of specified foreign financial assets, another form that you have to disclose if you have foreign bank accounts. that kind of stuff is what i want to know. does he have financial ties to russia? >> we believe if's only the introductory form. so from my understanding, we'll have to wait and see. matt, how potentially important is this? >> based on what we're hearing right now it seems like a nothing burger to me. it seems luke thike this story hyped a lot, mainly on social media, and what we're going to learn is that donald trump paid tens of millions in taxes. that's a good story for trump as
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far as i'm concerned. it's not about how much money donald trump paid in taxes or whatever. it's about, are there conflicts of interest? are there, you know, if he got a lot of money from russia, does that influence -- i don't think we're going to find that out today, but if we do, it's a blockbuster. >> in givthis gives people who saying release all your taxes a little more momentum. it looks like he paid a tax rate of 25%. if i recall, mitt romney had a tax rate of 14%. if this is true, it's good for trump, why not release all your taxes? if the white house is responding to this two pages, well, fine. why not respond to all of them? >> so i think the least surprising detail here is that president trump is a very successful businessman. he had a very good year, made 150 million. that's pretty good money. i think the most interesting thing is whoever stole and
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leaked these materials, how do they look in orange? because they are in serious trouble. to steal forms like these and put them out publicly. the president has said every time i've been with him publicly, privately, that he's under routine audit, and the lawyers and accountants have said don't go and put this out there, and that's what's holding that back. >> that's not true. trump's own lawyers say the audit doesn't go back as far as 2004. that letter was put out during the campaign. >> but any lawyer or accountant with their salt would say don't go out and put this out there, why go all the way through the audit. >> but the audit is done for those returns prior to -- >> i can't -- >> you can't let him get away with the ding on the russia thing. the president has made very clear, there are no business dealings in russia. >> his son's a liar? a disproportionate amount of assets are from russia.
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>> they were talking about people who buy condos and things like that. so these different buildings. that's what it was referring to. >> they sold a house in florida to a russian oligarch. >> they have no business dealings in russia. i can't let an attack like that go. >> we probably all agree, very nice, in fact, the president should release his tax returns, but if somebody stole these tax returns, i don't blame the journalist who they were leaked to, but the person who absconded with these, that is a serious thing. >> is the president, is the president the one to call that into question when he himself says i love wikileaks during the campaign? >> you live in a world where there's leaks and leaks. i don't think donald trump does himself a lot of good when he stands up there and kind of like, i'm going to put all these
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people in jail. i didn't like it when obama put whistle blowers in jail. here's the reality. if all we get tonight is that donald trump paid $38 million to america's government, that's a good night for donald trump, i'm sorry. there's just really no way, i was hoping and praying that it would show, not only that he paid no taxes, he actually charged the government and got money back. something i could get excited about. >> he was paid in rubles. >> in rubles! >> what would be amazing about that is that when the "new york times" got the 1995 taxes, the $960 million deduction that allows donald trump not to pay any taxes for essentially 18 years. if ten years later he's paying 38 million, and trump said that story is right, that makes me smart. he was actually bragging. >> mitt romney -- >> he paid more tax than he previously admitted to.
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>> i don't think we should assume, and i don't know anything about the sourcing of this, but i don't think we should assume that this document is stolen. i think, i think, wait a minute, let me finnish. the -- finish. there is a possibility that donald trump private citizen was involved in a lot of litigation, and parts of discovery very often in litigation involve your tax returns if the litigation involves money, so there is a possibility, and i don't know what it is, but i would guess that there are some people pout there looking at this. i just wouldn't jump to the conclusion that somebody ought to go to jail over this. it might just be good investigative journalism. >> you sound all smart and stuff. >> i hate when that happens. >> tonight's breaking story on donald trump's taxes. here's what we know, his 2005 federal 1040 form has gotten out. we do not know how. the white house is reacting
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sharply, acknowledging the leak. saying the president paid more than $38 million on more than $150 million in income. if that's what it is -- >> could they have just hidden that one? that one makes them look so good. maybe it looks dumb. he said if you pay taxes to america's government, you're dumb. >> philip, what are your thoughts as you hear this? >> well, i think that the point that this is the first time we've seen a return literally since 1977, the only public returns we have where donald trump is known to have paid taxes for 1995, '96, '97. we haven't seen, he has not paid any taxes according to what we have learned so far. so that is by itself a noteworthy thing. we don't know exactly how that $38 million was distributed. how much was paid and so forth.
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this is one of the years no longer under audit. during the campaign in march of 2016 there was letter from the lawyers that said up through 2008. he never had a clear answer on why he couldn't release the other ones prior to 2009. but that said, i think the one of the things tonight may do is put pressure on him to release the same top line numbers he just did for the rest of those years. >> it seems like so much of the reticence of donald trump during the campaign to do this was, you know, his long-standing -- i don't want to use the word obsession -- but his long-standing desire to be seen as incredibly rich. he's obviously incredibly rich by any standard, by the standard of some billionaires, he's probably not as rich as some billionaires and richer than a lot of other billionaires, but clearly his level of income is very important to him.
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he sued tim o'brien back in the day -- i forgot what year it was -- but he was at the "new york times" for basically saying that his net worth was not as much as he said it was. and donald trump lost that lawsuit as far as i remember. it's possible that is behind some of his reticence to actually expose his tax returns. >> yeah, that's exactly right. and this is always, when people were assuming that he would not run for president was because he didn't want to release his tax returns. in forbes. they asked if he was worth $4.5 billion. he said he was worth $10 billion. there's a discrepancy between what donald trump says he's worth and outside observers say he's worth, that being said, i don't know that the tax returns are going to tell us what his net worth is, simply because so much of his income is tied up in real estate.
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he releases disclosures which break down everything he has, his worth. still, the point here is that we're getting a very incomplete picture even if we get some sort of tax return. >> and the charitable foundation question was interesting because not only his comments that he'd given tens of millions of dollars, but when you compare it to yoe prau winfrey, i think hers had hundreds of millions in it. donald trump's never had that. there were questions about lou the money was donated to the charitable foundation, whose money it was, but the point the white house makes and has made all along, all these things, whether they've been asked or answered, the voters took that into consideration and gave him the white house. >> we're past november 8th. people care a lot more about tax reform, health care, how it's going to impact them. these are all clearly little knicks and cuts, efforts to try
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to attack the president and knock him off his game. i think most people are looking at it and saying this is nonsense, and clearly something was afoul here for this thing to be stolen. >> -- the election after promising that he would release his tax returns. >> when the audit's complete. >> i don't know how many voters actually care about the tax returns, but if you were a voter who was like, the one issue, i'm not sure of the tax returns, but he did say he would release it after the election, all right, i'm voting for him. i'm just saying, you can't say he got through the election, he won, so this issue doesn't matter. he promised to release -- >> do you think the irs is signature sitting on his audit for some reason? a citizen could say, well, i weste wish they'd speed up my audit. he could say it just like he did to the camera, saying that he'd
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like the russians to release the e-mails. >> some people want to know how much he made, is he as effective a businessman as he says, not interested. i think he's a fabulously wealthy guy. some people want to know how much he paid. that's not for me. i want to go all the way back to the founding fathers, who were terribly concerned about a president who was compromised by a foreign power. that's why i don't agree with it, but why they put in the constitution you can't be a foreign-born citizen. you can't be earning money from a foreign government. it is a real and present problem the founders warned us about that is still here today. is our president compromised by a foreign hostile power. we know his election was compromised. >> and when you say compromised, loans from chinese banks, russian banks. >> >> i think the fact that he has these trump towers in all
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types of countries, some of which we don't have good relationships is a conflict of interest. there's a lawsuit pending that says his continuing to own businesses overseas that receive favors from foreign governments is a violation of the constitution. this week, the mexican government granted him a bunch of trademarks. why? last week, the chinese government did. that to me is the most important thing. that's why i want to see everything in his tax return. >> also, i think, again, for the republicans, way smaller dinkier stuff than this has gone on with urban mayors who, you know, little tiny things, and republicans jump up and down. they say clean government, lean government, transparency, and that's one of the great theming of the republican party. if you try to delegitimize the president, there's way more evidence that this guy has some problem with russia than ever
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that obama was born in kenya, you guys spent years on a birth certificate. >> maybe we should change the law, though, there is no law that says donald trump has to release his taxes. >> there's been a proposal. people have proposed it. >> i think it might be a good idea, but right now, it's not like those small-town mayors or whatever involved in scandal because there's nothing illegal. >> it is unconstitutional if he's accepting payments from a foreign government. >> right. >> right. >> and there's a lawsuit that he's doing that every day with these foreign investments that we already know about. >> to your point, he had talked during the campaign about a blind trust. obviously, the setup he has now, he says he's not doing the day to day running. he's not talking to his sons about the business. >> he still owns it. >> it's a sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. i don't understand how you -- why can't we just be in reality? this is sloppy. it's weird. it doesn't make sense.
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if he has nothing to hide, he should reveal it. you're right, there's no law. but we're talking about their stuff as opposed this real stuff. >> now we've moved from the conspiracy theories. i've seen episodes of the x-files that were more plausible than what paul's coming up with here. what you're moving to is penalizing someone for being successful in this country. >> no. >> no. >> how's that? >> well, because by attacking and saying, you know, there has to, given -- >> we, let me ask you something untoward in his tax returns. and that's absolutely not. i think it's just -- >> didn't his son once say that it was so complicated that it would be this high and there were hundreds of thousands of pages and too complicated to digest? he's a successful businessman. it's not too complicated to digest. just like health care, we all know it's complicated. we can digest it. if you're a successful
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businessman, we don't have precedent for this, i get that, and so everybody's kind of feeling their way on this. but if this kind of stuff gets drip, drip, drip, the white house is going to have to answer these things, drip, drip, drip, why not just put his tax returns out there and he could say, okay, i wish they'd hurry up on that. >> to your point, since he doesn't care about his business anymore, because he's not part of that world, you know, is it more important to be, if you believe that as president you should have your tax returns out there, and he generally wants that, he could make the decision, you know what? some silly audit is less important to me than being president of the united states and not having any questions out there at all. talking about draining the swamp, this is one big step in that direction. that would be the counter argument to that. >> i think it's dangerous to say that any criticism of the president is wholly illegitimate, either you're jealous of him being rich or a
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conspiracy theorist. >> a bunch of people voted for him and have confidence in him. and that's great, but other people still don't have confidence. it's dangerous. we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. we may have to pull this country together quickly. but when you have half of the country still feeling rug burn from the election, why not put the community ahead and discuss their stuff. >> and the issue is not going away, right? you talked about how there's no evidence of collusion with the russians. paul talked about how you want thad investigated. the bipartisan house intelligence investigation had four things they were going to hook int look at. that is being looked at by nunez and adam schiff. would it make sense to look at donald trump's tax returns to get answers on that. and other committees in congress
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have also raised this question. so the white house at some point, they might be subpoenaed for these tax returns. even after tonight, i don't think this issue is going away. >> republicans, susan collins, i believe, a republican who said at some point we may have to subpoena his tax returns. >> you know donald trump. i don't. would he comply with a subpoena from congress asking for tax returns? >> i think he'd listen to his general counsel and accountants and follow their lead. >> what does that moon? >> you don't think he'd automatically obey the law? >> i'm not a lawyer, i'm not an accountant, i do think this has been settled, and i think a lot of people care more about their health care and tax cuts. >> jeff toobin joins us when we come back. but first things first -- call trugreen, america's #1 professional lawn care company. millions of homeowners like you trust us to give them
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masterpass, the secure way to pay from your bank don't just buy it, masterpass it. [ om[ sniffs ]c ] little girl: daddy! trapped by your unrelenting nasal allergies? [ meow ] [ sneezes ] try clarispray clarispray provides unsurpassed relief. it's 24 hour, non-drowsy and prescription strength. free yourself with clarispray, from the makers of claritin. we are talking about a revelation of the trump campaign, later the trump white house said would never happen as long as they were under audit. jim acosta is back with new information from the white house. >> reporter: that's right, there was this story breaking tonight that donald trump's 2005 tax return was obtained, and so to try to get ahead of that story, the white house essentially tried to break the news first that back in 2005 then businessman trump made $150
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million in income and paid $38 million in federal income taxes, essentially confirming what appears to be in this tax return. we have not obtained that tax return, but we have obtained what is a fatherly scathing statement from the white house, this is a portion of it. it says mr. trump paid $38 million even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction on an income of more than $150 million as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and unemployment tax, excuse me, employment taxes and this illegally-published return proves just that. despite the figure, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns, and you almost feel like, anderson, there's an echo of president trump in that statement where it says it is totally illegal to publish this. that sounds like it's coming straight from the mouth of president trump. and at the top of that statement, it goes on to say that whoever's putting this out
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there tonight is desperate for ratings and so desperate that they're willing to publish something that is stolen. anderson, this sort of reveals how deeply sensitive this is in terms of a secret for the president of the united states. he does not want to release these tax returns, he has said time and again, his officials have said time and again it's because he's under this routine audit, but as we've discussed many, many times on this network, he is under no obligation to keep those a secret because he's under audit. he can go ahead and release those tax returns as candidates have done since the 1970s when president nixon was president. back in 1995, then businessman trump lost some $900 million in revenue in his businesses, his casino businesses, and that was something that allowed him to not pay federal income taxes for some 18 years. how do we know that? because the "new york times"
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obtained that 1995 return and released it during the campaign. the president feels like the public just doesn't care about this and so will continue to keep these secret. but every once in a while these may leak out and is happening tonight. >> and as phil bump reminded me, the tax returns prior to 2008 are no longer under audit, and we know that because donald trump's attorneys put that in a letter. that argument that all those tax returns are under audit, that's simply not true for those returns. we will continue to check in with you as developments warrant, back now with our panel, jeffrey toobin and david gergen. gloria borger remains. the white house clearly saying these are stolen, this is illegal. are they right? >> we don't know. >> whether they're stolen or not. >> it is illegal for an irs person to give out a tax return. that is clearly a crime. however, if msnbc has them, any
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number of people could have given it to msnbc and it certainly wouldn't be anything illegal that msnbc did, if an accountant did it, a family member, if someone found it on the street and gave it to msnbc. msnbc would be under no legal obligation not to publish it. the only people who are prohibited from disclosing a tax return are the people who have a legal obligation to keep tse correc -- it secret. >> you mentioned that he's been involved in a lot of lawsuits. there are tax forms in various files across the country. >> particularly if he's involved in lawsuits that involve real estate and money and income and all the rest. so i think that it could be that somebody unearthed this in discovery. and, you know, one thing i want to say, just looking at these numbers, you know, you look at
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it and you say, it looks like he paid 25%. maybe he didn't, we need to know the details here before we kind of see whether he took advantage of what the "new york times" reported. you know, a tax break that he got that would have helped hum for the next 18 years. we don't know much other than the bottom line figures here. >> the daily beast, which has seen the document. >> uh-huh. >> has reported just to your point that about 5%, he paid about $5 million on his regular federal income tax returns and the rest was alternative minimum. >> which he wants to get rid of. >> he wants to get rid of it. but i must say these returns are tantalizing, but i don't think they're explosive. from what we've seen so far, $38 million, as jeffrey and i were talking about, in the lives of rich americans, the tax code is often skewed in their favor. i don't think it's all that outside of the mainstream. >> not at all. you know, in the realm of people
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who make $150 million, paying $38 million is, at least as i'm familiar with the law, is in the range of average. >> and for those of you saying donald trump is not as wealthy as he claims which may or may not be true, a lot of people are going to hear he made $150 million and say mazel tov. that's a great year. >> but it's also 2005. that's a long time ago. he's had a lot of financial history since then, which we know nothing about. >> phillip bump from the washington post is still with us. we were talking about earlier, so much of this became a story because of donald trump's bragging about his wealth on the campaign trail, his talking about his wealth on the campaign trail, clearly over the years, questions have been raised, is he as rich as he says he is. many people in the financial world will kind of exaggerate their wealth. so it really became an issue on
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the campaign trail to see whether he was telling the truth and also to see whether he was telling the truth on charitable giving, which he said he'd given away tens of millions of dollars, but when you look at reporters from the washington post and elsewhere looked at the foundation, the amount of money in that foundation was relatively small and in some cases was donated by other people that donald trump was s distributing. >> in most cases all of the money that had come into the foundation had come from other people, from a variety of places where he'd done events and got money for that. so it really undercut his claim that he was a very charitable person. because the main body that he had to actually disburse money to clarities was theharities wa foundation, and he want putting money into it. david gergen made this point several months ago, that donald trump is coming into the
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presidency with no track record. his only track record is his business record. and that is a black box. he know he made millions of dollars each year, he made this amount in 2005, apparently, but he said in the court filing that he valued his net worth deend g depending on how he felt that day. we have never had any sense, his credentials being his business background, we've never had any sense of how solid that is. >> i want to bring in timothy o'brien. you have seen some of donald trump's tax returns, because he sued you after you write, i think when you wrote in the "new york times," basically questioning his, his actual net worth, saying i think, what you were saying it wasn't as much as he was claiming, he sued you for that. correct me if i'm wrong, you won that lawsuit or the lawsuit was dismissed. you've been looking at these
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documents, what jumps out at you? >> he as part of our discovery in our litigation went over a lot of records, including business records, bank records and tax records, those were turned over to us in discovery, am there w and there was a court order. so there was a lot of them that i can't speak to, but what i've said, generally, about his return is that if he was to offer a very full and robust disclosure of the returns, it would get to a lot of statements he's made about his days as a successful businessman, as a generous philanthropist. as someone who, you know, puts jobs in america first and foremost. i think all of the -- and the financial and business pressures that would come to bear on him in the white house. and i think that's the reason why he's been reluctant to see
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these released. i think the '05 returns, the reporting i saw on it tonight in the "daily beast", and then briefly watching some of rachel maddow's program. i think there's some erroneous reporting there about what were the sources of trump's income that year, et cetera, et cetera, but the core fact about the '05 return that's been disclosed is that when you strip out the alternative minimum tax and a lot of other things that he had to pay, that boosted his income tax, income taxes, he paid very little income tax on the incomes he earned. and so that's an issue that as obviously been out there due to people with substantial income, do they pay enough, their fair share on their income, are they able to take advantage of the tax code in such a way that
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their income's protected. and certainly -- >> one of the things, tim, that's interesting about donald trump as a candidate is he basically preempted a lot of th that by saying, yeah i tried to take advantage as much, i'm not quoting him directly. but that made me smart and a businessman. so i found that kind of interesting that he kind of preempted any discussion of that by sort of saying, yeah, look, i would have tried to do everything legally possible. >> caller: well, and he's entitled to it. most people usually are interested in trying to lower their tax concerns. i think that's not irrational, and he's a businessman who was entitled to do that as long as he took advantage of, you know, legal loopholes. i think, however, in trump's case, one of the things he benefitted from was a massive writeoff, a tax loss or, you know, business loss of over $900
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million that he was able to carry forward from the mid '90s, into his tax returns into the early of, including the 2005 return, and the reason he was able to take advantage of that loophole wasn't simply because he was a smart businessman taking advantage of the tax code, was also because he'd been a horrible business person in most of his real estate dealings in the '80s and early '90s, and those losses were reflective of the massive loans that he couldn't pay back and the business losses he suffered because of his bad judgment. >> there had been reporting, tim, and you would probably be more up on this than my memory is, but i seem to recall some people doing reporting about had he taken the money that he got early on from whether it's from his father or that he had early on and invested it, he, people were comparing how he would have done then with how he did in his own business. >> caller: yeah, that argument would be that if he had simply
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sat on the very lush inheritance he received from his father and invested it in an index fund in the stock market and sat back, he would have had more money than he ever generated by blowing it left and right on a number of hotel, casino and real estate deals that didn't work out. there's some truth to that, obviously, but no one is left in a static environment. the reality is, until the apprentice or about 1991 until the dawn of the apprentice and 2004 when trump earned substantial income from the apprentice, he been on essentially an allowance from the bank. he, it was difficult for him to get bank loans, he was something of a pa rye yeah in the banking community. and none of it reflected as robust a businessman as he has claimed to be. >> tim o'brien, we appreciate
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you being with us. there's more breaking news ahead. gloria, is it possible that, you know, is it possible that donald trump released himself, you know, this is an idea that's out there, that he may have released this information himself to get the conversation away from wiretaps with the idea that you have director comey coming out tomorrow, we are now told, that was our breaking news at the top of the last hour, going to be talking about what if anything the fbi's investigating in a hearing in front of lindsey graham's committee. >> i think that question has to be taken seriously. the white house was johnny on the spot with a response on this. i think that, however, this, and on the face of it, it looks like a decent story for trump, although i would argue paying $5 million on an income of $150 million aside from the alternative minimum tax, it's the functional 24% the
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equivalent of what a couple earning 400,000 would pay. i think it's unlikely to me. he might have tweeted it if he wanted to release it. but look, i think you have to think of everything, because the next news cycles are going to be bad for trump. >> we will have more on the russia story, new efforts on selling the gop health care and resistance from republicans, we'll be right back. can i get some help. watch his head. ♪ i'm so happy. ♪ whatever they went through, they went through together. welcome guys. life well planned. see what a raymond james financial advisor can do for you. and we thoroughly test all our nuts for superior craveability.
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well, the white house spent the day embracing part of the house obamacare replacement bill, liking part of it but down playing or dismissing another, the estimate that 24 million fewer people would be insured by 2026. the reaction's been intense. many calling it dead on arrival. and democrats, well, they're certainly savaging it. i understand the white house is trying to work with some republican leaders to try and make changes to the bill, right? >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right. they've been reaching out to
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conservatives, but it's important to note here, anderson, that directly undercuts what house leaders have been trying to do for the last couple days. if they have it their way, the proposal will go to the house floor substantively unchanged. what one house aide told me is any effort by the white house to freelance on this is only hindering what they're trying to do. where they want changes to kour is the senate, not the house. the big question is if they want to get it to the senate they have to find the votes first. you mentioned that cbo score. you could say things were pal paably one settled as republicans try to adjust to their. a canary in the coal mine. a republican member from florida, a more moderate member but who has been a stalwart vote with leadership every time came out today and said she would be voting no, why? because her florida constituents would not be getting coverage, anderson. that is a serious concern for leaders going forward.
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>> phil mattingly, thanks. joining us is david walker, evidence the government accountability office. let me start with you. what do you make of how this is all playing out and particularly how the white house, they're blasting the cbo report except for the parts that they like. >> the fact of the matter is the cbo is the honest broker. they're the ones who keep the score, while they do a better job of estimating the financial impact, you've got to make estimates on how many will be covered in order to do the financial impact. the good news is you'll reduce the deficit, you're providing more flexibility in choice and premiums won't go up as much over time. the bad, medicare part a goes insolvent, the trust fund four years earlier, and they're not doing anything with regard to drug coverage, and seniors end up taking it on the chin. bottom line, i think a bill will eventually get to the
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president's decsk, but it won't be this bill. because it won't make it through the senate. >> do you think as candidate trump, he promised too much? >> i think the american -- we need to have a discussion with the american people about how much universal health care is appropriate, affordable and sustainable. we've overpromised. we've oversubsidized, we underdeliver. we, we've got $32 trillion if unfund unfunded promises for medicare, $11 trillion for social security. in my view, that's preventive wellness and catastrophic protection. you're always going to do more for the poor and disabled and what we can for veterans, but we've overpromised for a vast majority of the population. we need to rationalize those promises and target our subsidies and pay for outcomes rather than activities.
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>> david gergen, do you agree with that? >> i think there's a very strong argument when you get beyond the cbo, what works and doesn't work. what we know is there are other groups who have said there are going to be millions of people thrown off. standard and po standard & poors has done. that the moderate democrats are going to score more points than the republicans r how care. how can you justify lowering taxes on the rich and cutting back on medicaid and there are consequences for that. how do you morally justify that. and i think that's a very hard argument for them to overcome. and the dilemma, to try to address that, it's a much more expensive bill, and you can't get it passed by the republicans. >> and gloria, paul begala said
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the very people are the people who voted for trump. >> there have been studies which says that there will be a disproportionate impact on working class voters in red states. and so these congress men are not going to be thrilled to vote for this. and donald trump could pay for it in the end, because his voters, if they lose benefits, if they lose medicaid, some of them, then they're going to be real re really unhappy about it. more breaking news tonight. new information on the fbi investigation between trump russia, we'll tell you about that coming up next. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line.
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other break story involves the question of ties between the trump campaign and russia. after months of refusing to confirm the existence of fbi investigation into it, james comey is about to go on the record. what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right. fbi director james comey privately told two senators in a
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meeting earlier this month he would discuss whether or not there is actually fbi investigation ongoing into the trump campaign. officials, contacts that allegedly occurred between russia and campaign. democrat from rhode island ranking member of judiciary subcommittee in the meeting with lindsey graham. in the meeting comey wouldn't confirm whether or not the fbi is indeed investigating trump campaign ties to russia but told white house and graham by tomorrow when subcommittee has its meeting on russia would confirm the existence of this investigation. don't know for sure what comey will do, asked fbi for comment and they're not commenting. >> lindsey graham clearly also wants any evidence of whether
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president obama wiretapped donald trump's phones or trump tower as president trump has alleged. will comey talk about that tomorrow? do we know? >> we don't know yet. that's the hope from the two senators. they actually also sent a letter to comey, the fbi, asking for any details about wiretapping to be provided to their committee and senator lindsey graham told me he's prepared to get tough on the doj tomorrow if the justice department doesn't provide any information about wiretapping. but i can tell you in private classified briefings, senators from the intelligence committee say they still have not even evidence to support trump's claims. we'll see what they say and public hearing next week when james comey goes in front of committee. >> thanks.
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and also stephen hall. you have a lot of dealings with congress in long period with the cia. what do you expect tomorrow from comey? and how much confidence do you have in the multiple investigations going on in capitol hill? >> it's a big deal anderson. whatever the fbi director comes out with tomorrow is going to be important and in my view concerning. wount hand says there's sufficient evidence for the fbi to investigate whether or not the trump campaign had cooperation or collusion with the russian government before the election, that's big deal. on the other hand, comes out and says there's nothing there, pretty much done, that's of concern as well, especially when you start lining up the different things there that tie the trump campaign to the russians. whether or not it's michael
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flynn or russians themselves saying they have had contact or other people out there, manafort, rest of them. is it all happenstance? i suppose could be. either way will be concerning. >> although it's entirely possible that comey just says there is investigation but can't say -- haven't reached conclusions or can't say anything more about it. >> can say i can't tell you scope of the investigation, whether looking into contacts, just that there is open investigation and will confirm that. period. and then move on. aside from the blip i think during the campaign, comey hasn't been that willing to go out there and tell people exactly what he's investigating. it was shocking when he did it during the campaign. and i don't think that he's likely to say to congress here's
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parameters of what we're doing and here's what we know so far, unless he says we have no evidence that barack obama was tapping donald trump's phone. i mean. >> important distinction beyond the wiretapping issue, distinction between investigating contacts between the russian and associates of the trump campaign or campaign and election. if anyone on the trump side thought by releasing or secretly sending out tax returns would overplay the story -- if investigating for collusion. >> do you think that's possibility? >> sure. >> got anonymously in the mail? >> guy from "the daily beast." >> former pulitzer prize "new york times" reporter, well
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respected, got the taxes in the mail anonymously, same way that "new york times" got the 1995 taxes. i should put up my mailing address. >> wasn't postmarked 1600 pennsylvania avenue was it? we don't know. >> comey set extraordinary precedent in the campaign saying because of public interests. whether there are contacts with the russians who hacked into the dnc, also in the public interests. should be forthcoming. >> what if they don't know the answers? >> steve, you've had fascinating career at cia and probably used to conspiracy theories and lot
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of the stuff you've been hearing. but when you see the sheer volume of questionable things, flynn lying to the vice president, all this sort of -- little pieces, there's no evidence yet of any collusion, no evidence. but to you are all the pieces just too many to be a coincidence? >> anderson, i look at it from counterintelligence perspective. admittedly that's different from legal perspective or bringing somebody to trial or court. for me from counterintelligence perspective, looking at it in my old job, way too much smoke for there to be absolutely no fire. that doesn't mean i think everything that's come up is of concern. i don't believe that flynn's contact with am bass dar kislyak was that significant of a thing. but lot of other stuff is significant and there's too much
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there. to answer part of the earlier question, with regard to whether congress and committees are able to deal with this, my experience with the oversight committees is they're very professional and set up to deal with classified information and professional staffers cleared but always a significant political vein running through all of that. take subpoenas, if they subpoena to further the investigation, have to have a majority vote to do it. i don't see it happening. i think has to be more independent than relying on the politicians in the committee. >> democrats have warned if process breaks down over subpoenas and other issues they're going to walk from the investigation. >> and these committee members going into vault at langley, cia, leafing through thousands of pages of documents. this takes a lot of time. like drinking from a fire hose for the committee members
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because not given guidance on what they're seeing, just somebody sitting in the room with them while they go through the documents and they have to take the time and evaluate them and compare with each other what they've seen. not getting a lot of guidance from the fbi about which direction you should go in at this point. i think it's a lengthy and difficult job, which is why they want to hear from someone like comey saying, yes we take this seriously and are investigating. >> david? >> word from my sources on the hill say there's expectation that investigations will be under way for another five or six months, not anywhere close to the end of things. but beyond that there's tie between the tax story and this story. what we got was tantalizing, only two pages but tax returns, ordinary october, hundreds of pages long and cover the business dealings. one of the big questions lingering is whether trump's
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ties to russia come because deeply entangled with them financially and giving them money. >> and we don't know bhuch that. thanks to the panel. hand over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." we have breaking news. never before revealed information on president trump's taxes. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. white house says the president earned more than $150 million in income and played $38 million in taxes in 2005 and insist he had a responsibility to pay no more taxes than regularly required. in response to the leak of the 1040. who revealed the return and why is it coming out now? great